KT Edit: UK politicians are busy with deceit, delays

Published: Sun 20 Oct 2019, 10:04 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Oct 2019, 12:05 AM

Britain's parliament has sought another delay from the EU over Brexit after PM Boris Johnson's government tabled a 'great new deal' before it. They will vote on Monday on whether to seek another extension from the EU past the October 31 deadline, but this development is from the same script under former PM Theresa May. If you can't decide, delay, stall, has been the norm in parliament. Britain's parliamentarians have a problem with every Brexit proposal because the Tory government falls short of the numbers. The Labour Party even questions the very referendum that decided on Britain leaving the European Union, deal or no deal. Theresa May struck two deals with Brussels only to be let down by her own party and opposition politicians led by Labour after several similar extensions and delays. The Tories realise they are leading a minority government with only 279 supporters for its latest Brexit proposal. To win support for Johnson's new Brexit deal with Europe, the ruling party needs to rustle up support from others to reach the magic figure of 320 in the 650-seat House. As things stand now, 21 Independents and 12 Labour rebels are inclined to vote for Johnson's new Brexit deal, which makes it 312 in favour, while the opposition led by Labour has 303 against the deal. Tory strategy would be to convince 24 undecided lawmakers to look their way, and these include fence-sitters from Labour (11), the Conservatives themselves (8) and Independents (5).
The request for a EU extension which Johnson doesn't want (he sent two letters to Brussels, one with his signature while the other was unsigned) could doom the deal which appears too close to call. The EU can change its mind only if all 27 members agree on the extension sought by the UK. French President Emmanuel Macron has already signalled that he wants no more extensions. Johnson wants out, preferably with the new deal, or without one if Westiminister shoots it down again even if an extension is given by the EU past October 31.
There are too many uncertainties, the ifs and buts are throwing a spanner in the Brexit works. Britain's politicians have been the biggest culprits in the sorry spectacle that is a blot on its democracy. Britain's parliamentary system appears broken and why should it be the EU's problem? The people's verdict has been ignored in this ugly game of deceit and delays. Britain's political class will pay a heavy price.

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